Statement on the Passing of Walter Mondale

April 20, 2021

Ronald S. Flagg, President, Legal Services Corporation 
John G. Levi, Chairman, Legal Services Corporation
Fr. Pius Pietrzyk, OP, Vice Chairman, Legal Services Corporation

We are saddened by the passing of former Vice President and Democratic presidential candidate Walter Mondale, who died on Monday at his home in Minneapolis at the age of 93.

Throughout his long political and legal career, the Minnesota icon was a stalwart supporter of civil legal aid and LSC.  In 1971 then-Senator Mondale joined a bipartisan coalition proposing the creation of a national “Legal Services Corporation,” and three years later was a chief author of a bill signed by Richard Nixon leading to the creation of LSC.

Mondale supported LSC in the years that followed, and in 2015 spoke at an LSC access-to-justice forum and pro bono reception in Minneapolis hosted by his firm, Dorsey & Whitney.

Only with “a new commitment” to equal access and the mission of LSC “will our country’s promise of justice—reflected in our constitution and the closing words of the Pledge of Allegiance—really be what it should be for all Americans,” he said. 

When proposals to defund LSC arose in 2017, Mondale joined then-ABA President Linda Klein urging bipartisan support for LSC, noting that “access to justice is neither a Democratic nor a Republican idea; it’s an American promise.” 

We extend our deepest condolences to his family and friends.

Legal Services Corporation (LSC) is an independent nonprofit established by Congress in 1974 to provide financial support for civil legal aid to low-income Americans. The Corporation currently provides funding to 132 independent nonprofit legal aid programs in every state, the District of Columbia, and U.S. territories.